Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA)

Logo for the Self-Employed Women's Association in Lucknow, India. Logo for the Self-Employed Women's Association in Lucknow, India.

The Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) is a trade union in India of approximately 1.2 million members. SEWA is working with the United Nations Women’s Department to organize home-based women workers throughout South Asia.

SEWA's members are among the poorest and unorganized workers in India and include street vendors, manual labourers, and women who work from their homes, such as embroiderers and weavers. SEWA organizes members to work for better working conditions and economic self-reliance. In addition, many members are actively involved in SEWA’s cooperative bank, literacy classes and child care groups.

Although SEWA was registered in 1972, it actually grew out of the Textile Labour Association, which was founded in 1920, hence SEWA’s close affiliation with embroiderers. In 2003, SEWA founded a non-profit company, SEWA Trade Facilitation Centre (SEWATFC), to link 15,000 artisans, most of them embroiderers, with national and international markets. SEWATFC has its own fashion brand, Hansiba, which (in 2015) sells hand embroidered clothes, bags, quilts, sofa coverings and cushions through two outlets, in Ahmadabad and New Delhi (India).

Digital source (retrieved 13th March 2017).

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 13th March 2017).


Last modified on Saturday, 06 May 2017 20:01
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